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Author Topic: Anonymous businesses: the bitcoin killer app?  (Read 4330 times)
Astrohacker
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August 07, 2011, 04:49:16 PM
 #1

It's very hard to start a business in the United States without doing something illegal. I imagine it is the same in most other countries. The problem is that the number of regulations in time have grown so dramatically that they now invade every aspect of our lives. Most of the business that you can probably think of will be illegal, and thus you either have to do them illegally and probably be jailed, or just not do them. Most people don't do them. This is tragic. Opportunities are lost. Technologies are not invented. The world is not made better. All because the government does everything in its power to make the elites invulnerable to competition.

I don't advise making a company that does anything unethical. Unfortunately, the law and ethics do not overlap very much. Almost all regulations are there to entrench powers, not to ensure ethics. Bitcoin provides an opportunity to work around this problem by making anonymous companies. Silk Road is an example of this. They have established what a successful business anonymously. This is possible because payments are made with bitcoins. This would obviously not be possible with credit cards, where the identities of everyone involved would be seen by third parties.

Thus, we see that bitcoin has solved the most important remaining problem preventing anonymous companies: payments can now be made anonymously (or at least pseudonymously) over the internet. This is huge. Go back and think of all those business ideas you had, but didn't do, because they were illegal. They are now made possible with bitcoin. Again, I don't advise anyone do anything unethical - just illegal. Take patents, for example. They are a ludicrous regulation that shouldn't exist. So ignore them. Just make your business anonymous, and no one can enforce the patent on you. You will be immune.

I believe it will become mainstream to create anonymous companies, insofar as that is necessary to avoid corrupt regulations. It is only a matter of having the relevant technologies in place, and bitcoin is probably the most significant advance along this front in recent history. The success of Silk Road is evidence that all the relevant technologies are now in place. Being able to ignore regulations is an enormous advance. Everything will be cheaper and rate of innovation will accelerate. Anonymous or pseudonymous companies are the future. The economic pressure for this just means it is a question if how fast this happens, not if. It will be anarchy. In a good way.
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August 07, 2011, 06:27:36 PM
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Once transaction scripts (https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Script) are enabled in Bitcoin, then much of the trust issues can be solved, and anonymity won't be an issue because businesses will be able to operate relatively trust-free.  Here's a thread I started on some various solutions to trust problems that will be made possible: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=33892.0

If extreme microtransactions can be done as well, via this method: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=25786.msg320931#msg320931, then pay-per-packet routing, and economical distributed data storage and filesharing will be some other "killer apps".  If this requires breaking the existing protocol, then I've described a way to quickly and smoothly roll out the new one here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=34360.0.

Another "killer app" described by that thread is backing for new digital currencies that offer features that Bitcoin doesn't - e.g. user friendly anonymity, extreme microtransactions, etc. - since there can't be any effective capital controls on the exchange between free digital currencies, like Bitcoin, to threaten the promise of convertibility.  Thus, centralization of complementary currencies becomes much less of a show stopper, especially considering the potential for distributing and eliminating trust via Bitcoin's future transaction scripts.
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August 07, 2011, 06:45:14 PM
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So if I were 007, I might want to make darn sure both 'M' and 'Q' were fully on board with the rollout timetable so I could take care of any minor glitches along the lines my license might suit me to apply myself with due diligence to, in due time to keep the timetable from resulting in any more undesired collateral damage than glitches falling into such a category might insist upon absolutely requiring.

Even if I were not 007, I might sometimes wish simplemachines (and phpBB too if it too doesn't do it) would tooltip internal URLs such as thread and post URLs so I don't have to force firefox through the seemingly excruciating labour of dredging up enough resources to fire up yet another tab or window and actually display its contents just so I can better divine what that missing tooltip would've told me had it existed.

-MarkM- (tl;dr Anonymity: not a toy?)

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d'aniel
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August 07, 2011, 08:03:17 PM
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So if I were 007, I might want to make darn sure both 'M' and 'Q' were fully on board with the rollout timetable so I could take care of any minor glitches along the lines my license might suit me to apply myself with due diligence to, in due time to keep the timetable from resulting in any more undesired collateral damage than glitches falling into such a category might insist upon absolutely requiring.

Even if I were not 007, I might sometimes wish simplemachines (and phpBB too if it too doesn't do it) would tooltip internal URLs such as thread and post URLs so I don't have to force firefox through the seemingly excruciating labour of dredging up enough resources to fire up yet another tab or window and actually display its contents just so I can better divine what that missing tooltip would've told me had it existed.

-MarkM- (tl;dr Anonymity: not a toy?)

Well that was creative.
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August 07, 2011, 09:23:35 PM
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It's very hard to start a business in the United States without doing something illegal.

I am not sure this is true.

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August 07, 2011, 09:44:53 PM
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It's very hard to start a business in the United States without doing something illegal.

I am not sure this is true.


I agree.  I'd change it to: It's very hard to start a business that can fairly compete with the oligarchs in the United States without doing something illegal.
Meatpile
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August 07, 2011, 10:14:42 PM
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In Canada there are some real pain in the ass laws for certain businesses. But for the most part you can just start up a sole proprietorship and make sure you collect taxes and remit them properly and that is it.

However I too wish there was a way to get mass anonymous investment from thousands of people on the internet. Sure there are tons of trust issues, and moral issues with taking investment from drug cartels... but really it would sure be a good way for people to micro invest in dozens of things at once. Surely one of them ends up being successful?

Then again with bitcoins track record, they will mostly be fraud or total ineptitude.
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August 08, 2011, 03:09:29 AM
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It's very hard to start a business in the United States without doing something illegal.

I am not sure this is true.

Go to Google News. Type in "lemonade stand" in the search box. Read until you weep.

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Exonumia
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August 08, 2011, 03:25:19 AM
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Go to Google News. Type in "lemonade stand" in the search box. Read until you weep.

So foolish local govt's shaking down kids = you cant start a business without doing something illegal?

Turn off the talk radio, and start working on your business idea, and I think you will find during the research that it isn't all that hard to do here in the USA.

The one thing I find interesting is that the OP doesn't want people to do 'unethical' things, only 'illegal' things.

Ethics are individual edicts, they change from person to person... laws apply to all.

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August 08, 2011, 03:48:04 AM
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Go to Google News. Type in "lemonade stand" in the search box. Read until you weep.

So foolish local govt's shaking down kids = you cant start a business without doing something illegal?

Turn off the talk radio, and start working on your business idea, and I think you will find during the research that it isn't all that hard to do here in the USA.

The one thing I find interesting is that the OP doesn't want people to do 'unethical' things, only 'illegal' things.

Ethics are individual edicts, they change from person to person... laws apply to all.

I have done the research, and then some. It's impossible to run a legitimate business without being 100% completely in the black market, paradoxical as that sounds. In the so-called "legal" market, there are third parties who will occasionally require you to screw over a customer, or require you to be screwed over by a customer.

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August 08, 2011, 03:58:03 AM
 #11

It's very hard to start a business in the United States without doing something illegal.

I am not sure this is true.

Go to Google News. Type in "lemonade stand" in the search box. Read until you weep.

That's right up there with the biggest healthcare system in the US, the coffee can at the gas station.

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
Trader Steve
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August 08, 2011, 04:24:02 AM
 #12

It's very hard to start a business in the United States without doing something illegal. I imagine it is the same in most other countries. The problem is that the number of regulations in time have grown so dramatically that they now invade every aspect of our lives. Most of the business that you can probably think of will be illegal, and thus you either have to do them illegally and probably be jailed, or just not do them. Most people don't do them. This is tragic. Opportunities are lost. Technologies are not invented. The world is not made better. All because the government does everything in its power to make the elites invulnerable to competition.

I don't advise making a company that does anything unethical. Unfortunately, the law and ethics do not overlap very much. Almost all regulations are there to entrench powers, not to ensure ethics. Bitcoin provides an opportunity to work around this problem by making anonymous companies. Silk Road is an example of this. They have established what a successful business anonymously. This is possible because payments are made with bitcoins. This would obviously not be possible with credit cards, where the identities of everyone involved would be seen by third parties.

Thus, we see that bitcoin has solved the most important remaining problem preventing anonymous companies: payments can now be made anonymously (or at least pseudonymously) over the internet. This is huge. Go back and think of all those business ideas you had, but didn't do, because they were illegal. They are now made possible with bitcoin. Again, I don't advise anyone do anything unethical - just illegal. Take patents, for example. They are a ludicrous regulation that shouldn't exist. So ignore them. Just make your business anonymous, and no one can enforce the patent on you. You will be immune.

I believe it will become mainstream to create anonymous companies, insofar as that is necessary to avoid corrupt regulations. It is only a matter of having the relevant technologies in place, and bitcoin is probably the most significant advance along this front in recent history. The success of Silk Road is evidence that all the relevant technologies are now in place. Being able to ignore regulations is an enormous advance. Everything will be cheaper and rate of innovation will accelerate. Anonymous or pseudonymous companies are the future. The economic pressure for this just means it is a question if how fast this happens, not if. It will be anarchy. In a good way.

+1 -> See:

Bitcoin: A New Commodity Created To Serve Market Demand
http://tinyurl.com/3e85xr8
BitcoinStars.com
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August 08, 2011, 04:46:39 AM
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We are all for a quality airtight bitcoin verification system for gaming companies like ourselves but we are too busy ATM to conceptualize the project. Hopefully someone from the community will sooner then later.
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August 08, 2011, 05:16:50 AM
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I have done the research, and then some. It's impossible to run a legitimate business without being 100% completely in the black market, paradoxical as that sounds. In the so-called "legal" market, there are third parties who will occasionally require you to screw over a customer, or require you to be screwed over by a customer.

So to avoid having shitty over-regulation where young children are harassed while running lemonade stands, you throw the baby out with the bathwater and would advocate a system that makes something like the MyBitcoin fiasco possible instead?

Regulation doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing thing, and unless it was for something I needed/wanted that wasn't strictly-speaking legal where I lived, I sure as shit wouldn't do business with an anonymous "business".

^_^
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August 08, 2011, 05:53:37 AM
 #15

It's very hard to start a business in the United States without doing something illegal.
I am not sure this is true.
It's not that hard to properly start a business in the US.  I've operated as a sole proprietor in the past. I had a business license, a Dun and Bradstreet rating, a registered fictitious name published in local newspapers, a registered US trademark, a liability policy, a sales tax account, and a workmans' compensation policy.  I paid local, state, and federal taxes.  I accepted credit cards, using a major bank.  No big deal.  I ended up selling the technology to a bigger company and got out of the retail end.

Local chambers of commerce usually have a how-to guide for your local jurisdiction, with all the forms you need. Much of what needs to be done can be done on line. It's just not that hard.

The "anonymous Bitcoin companies" currently active seem to have trouble running for a few months without ripping off their customers.  Anonymous businesses are a problem, not a solution.
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August 08, 2011, 06:35:22 AM
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Agreed, there is a ton of bullshit in this thread.

Yes, regulations and red tape are shitty. But anyone can still easily run a business with minimum of fuss. Socialist countries have FAR more regulations than the US.

The worst problem of doing business in the US is not regulations but the threat of getting sued. US litigation culture is a complete fucking joke.
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August 08, 2011, 06:43:38 AM
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Local chambers of commerce usually have a how-to guide for your local jurisdiction, with all the forms you need. Much of what needs to be done can be done on line. It's just not that hard.

The "anonymous Bitcoin companies" currently active seem to have trouble running for a few months without ripping off their customers.  Anonymous businesses are a problem, not a solution.

Agree... Yes running a business requires some work... but I have never had or know of anyone who had to turn to illegal means to do so.

Yes, regulations and red tape are shitty. But anyone can still easily run a business with minimum of fuss. Socialist countries have FAR more regulations than the US.

The worst problem of doing business in the US is not regulations but the threat of getting sued. US litigation culture is a complete fucking joke.

Yes the OP has no idea the red tape to setup businesses in Europe... no idea.

...and we will never have real Tort reform if we keep electing lawyers into office.


edit: the more I think about this post... is it possible the OP doesn't know the definitions of illegal and ethical?
error
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August 08, 2011, 05:38:13 PM
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I have done the research, and then some. It's impossible to run a legitimate business without being 100% completely in the black market, paradoxical as that sounds. In the so-called "legal" market, there are third parties who will occasionally require you to screw over a customer, or require you to be screwed over by a customer.

So to avoid having shitty over-regulation where young children are harassed while running lemonade stands, you throw the baby out with the bathwater and would advocate a system that makes something like the MyBitcoin fiasco possible instead?

Regulation doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing thing, and unless it was for something I needed/wanted that wasn't strictly-speaking legal where I lived, I sure as shit wouldn't do business with an anonymous "business".

I'm advocating getting rid of the system that FORCES fiascos like this to occur. If there was a choice, I'd rather choose a scenario where it was possible to get ripped off than your system where it's guaranteed.

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Astrohacker
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August 08, 2011, 06:00:31 PM
 #19

It's very hard to start a business in the United States without doing something illegal.

I am not sure this is true.

Go to Google News. Type in "lemonade stand" in the search box. Read until you weep.

Exactly. The number of regulations preventing individuals from doing very basic things to earn a living (like running a taxi, doing anything involving finance, etc.), is ludicrous. It is irrelevant that legally starting a business is only a matter of filling out some paper work. What matters is that just about anything a single person can do to earn a living is so burdened with regulations as to be impossible.
Astrohacker
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August 08, 2011, 06:09:46 PM
 #20

Local chambers of commerce usually have a how-to guide for your local jurisdiction, with all the forms you need. Much of what needs to be done can be done on line. It's just not that hard.

The "anonymous Bitcoin companies" currently active seem to have trouble running for a few months without ripping off their customers.  Anonymous businesses are a problem, not a solution.

Agree... Yes running a business requires some work... but I have never had or know of anyone who had to turn to illegal means to do so.

Yes, regulations and red tape are shitty. But anyone can still easily run a business with minimum of fuss. Socialist countries have FAR more regulations than the US.

The worst problem of doing business in the US is not regulations but the threat of getting sued. US litigation culture is a complete fucking joke.

Yes the OP has no idea the red tape to setup businesses in Europe... no idea.

...and we will never have real Tort reform if we keep electing lawyers into office.


edit: the more I think about this post... is it possible the OP doesn't know the definitions of illegal and ethical?

lol. It is very easy to make a business that is ethical. For instance, I could buy some marijuana seeds, grow some marijuana plants, and sell the marijuana for a profit. After establishing this perfectly legitimate and ethical business, I would be imprisoned.

Perhaps you've never actually tried to think of starting a business. If you do, you'll realize how huge the regulatory hurdles are for almost all businesses you could make. Another possibility is that your mind is so warped by the government and the status quo that you dismiss illegal business ideas without even realizing that they are perfectly ethical and only illegal because the government is corrupt.

Also, you're right that I don't know anything about regulation in Europe. I'm willing to believe it's even worse than the US.
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